Saturday, December 24, 2016

Mrs. Harry and I

Mrs. Harry and I call to each other from across the street.  
We say little things like, “Hello.” & “Good-bye”.

We wave to one another as we come and go in our cars. 
She drives north.
I tend to drive south.

I have shovel snow from her walks at the bridge of night and the break of morning 
anonymously working under the street lights.
But that is about as close as I get to her front door.

When her husband Mike, moved to the nursing home (early onset Alzheimer's)  we met in the middle of the road as we were taking in our respective trash cans. 
She paused, of course only to be helpful, 
“I thought you should know that Mike has gone away to stay at a nursing home…” she said.
“If you need anything,” I answered.

”Yes, of course, and you too… if you need anything,” she replied.

When my car got stolen she came to her gate.  When the police came because the neighbor south of us pulled a knife on his family and they fled to my house she went to her window.  When I coaxed the drunken woman from off the park strip in front of her house she watched me from behind the curtains.

When BC was working in Moab she noticed me doing his chores. 
“Is he gone long for work?” she asked.
 “If you need anything.”
”Yes, of course, and you too… if you need anything.”

When her husband died we met again in the middle of the street. 
“I thought you should know Mike passed away…”
"Yes, thank you, I'm so sorry....if you need anything."
 “Yes, of course, and you too…if you need anything.”

Mrs. Harry and I call to each other from across the street.  We say little things like "Beautiful day." and "Can you believe this rain?"

I know she likes it when I keep up with the garden.  She smiles when I pick up the fast food wrappers that float down the street like felons out on parole.  She doesn't mind if I park in front of her house but the neighbors to the north she turns the sprinklers on on them.

“Is he gone again?” she asks from her front porch as I haul in groceries.
“Yes” I answer wondering about how often she watches my house because BC's truck sits like a decoy in the driveway...

“If you need anything,” she says.

“Yes, of course, and you too…if you need anything,” I answer.

Only we both know we can’t give each other what it is that we both need. 

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